‘Watchful waiting’ an option for some
Some men diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer who opt not to initially receive treatment can be safe if they are closely monitored, U.S. researchers say.
An important question for men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer and at minimal risk of cancer progression or metastases is when to actively treat versus when to observe and closely monitor.
Study author Dr. Scott Eggener of the University of Chicago Medical Center said radiation therapy and surgery are effective treatments but can be associated with serious long-term side effects such as incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
The study showed that two separate biopsies are needed to determine optimal selection of patients for active surveillance, also known as
watchful waiting when patients decide not to undergo immediate treatment.
Eggener said there are no widely accepted recommendations on which patients are appropriate candidates for active surveillance or when to perform second or
The study, published in the Journal of Urology, showed that a restaging biopsy provides doctors with additional information regarding the cancer and is the best way to ensure the short-term success of active surveillance.
Some men may be rushing into treatment that won’t necessarily benefit them, prevent problems, or prolong life, Eggener said in a statement.
Close observation in certain patients may provide and maintain quality of life without increasing the chances of the cancer spreading.